France repatriates Roma to Romania and Bulgaria

Central European News Brief: Oct. 2012

French and Romanian officials have agreed on plans to repatriate some 80 families from Roma camps on the outskirts of Paris, Lyon and Lille. It was signed 12 Sept. by both nations and also included the signature of European Affairs Minister Bernard Cazeneuve.

Citing health concerns, French authorities have conducted raids of “illegal” squat camps and placed the immigrants in “insertion villages”, which cost the government €26,000 per family annually, according to estimates in le Figaro. Between 100 and 150 Roma were evacuated on 20 Sept., after which health official Romain Gerland pointed out, “The majority of these people are very ill.”

French Interior Minister Manuel Valls said he hoped to have 7,000 Roma at the borders of Romania and Bulgaria by the end of September.

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